With roughly one in five dogs suffering from ear infections, it’s important for dog owners to know a little bit about them.
There are approximately 78 million dogs living with families in the United States, and almost 20 percent of them have to cope with painful, itchy and downright uncomfortable ear infections. We all love our dogs. For many dog owners, dogs are more than just pets — they’re family. No one wants to see their dog suffering from an ear infection, and that’s why the team at East Meadow Veterinary Center has come up with this guide on ear infections in dogs. If you haven’t already, check out part one of this series to learn how to spot the signs of ear infections and what causes them. Keep reading part two to learn about how to treat and prevent ear infections, as well as the dangers of leaving them untreated.
How are ear infections in dogs treated?
In most cases, the best recourse for an ear infection is to clean the ears out with a gentle cleanser. This helps to remove the bacteria that caused the infection in the first place. Antimicrobials are often prescribed, as well, to help fight off the bacterial infection. However, not all ear infections are the same, and if your dog’s infection is debilitating or severe, they might need to be kept for treatment for the night or even a few days, and they may also be assessed for neurologic symptoms.
As we mentioned in our last blog, there are many things that can cause an ear infection in dogs, and while the above method is the general treatment option, the underlying cause of your dog’s infection may require another treatment option. For example, if a foreign object is stuck inside your dog’s ear, using an ear rinse probably won’t do the trick. That’s why it’s always important to take your dog to the veterinarian when they have an ear infection instead of trying to deal with it yourself.
How do you prevent ear infections?
Just as treatment methods will vary, depending on what has caused the infection in the first place, prevention methods can also vary. For example, if a buildup of wax or bacteria commonly causes ear infections in your dog, using a gentle rinse regularly can keep their ears clean and free of bacteria. However, if your dog’s allergies are causing ear infections, then identifying the allergen and eliminating it from their food or environment will help to prevent ear infections.
Why you shouldn’t ignore an ear infection.
When your dog has an ear infection, you can’t just ignore it and hope it goes away. Left untreated, an ear infection is just going to get more severe, and if you let it run its course for too long, it can cause lasting damage. Not only can the infection itself be dangerous for your pup, but it the itching and pain it causes your dog can drive them nuts. They could also potentially hurt themselves by scratching or pawing at the ear.
If you think your dog might have an ear infection, schedule your appointment with East Meadow Veterinary Center today.